Singapore Expats Forum

Contractors in Singapore

Discuss your views about Singapore business & economy, current policies & issues, starting a business in Singapore.
CooperS
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Postby CooperS » Sun, 09 Sep 2007 11:56 pm

In comparison to the UK, where a contracts' market is currently very healthy, their offer is excellent.

I wouldn’t drop my existing one if it was less; let alone marginally better. I’m very excited about it, in fact I REALLY want it. :)! I hope to know more this week (fingers crossed)
Thanks guys.

monkey
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Postby monkey » Wed, 12 Sep 2007 1:26 am

Does Singapore have the same concept of "umbrella companies" as in the UK where your employed by the umbrella company and work on the client site. The umbrella company takes care of all paperwork, including taxes, provides for profesional imdemnity insurance etc and you receive a salary for a minimal fee.

Could you not just register with an umbrella company ? I don't know how the system works in Singers, but it would make your life much easier.

If your unsure of what I mean, then this company for example offers the service, but in the UK.

http://www.parasolplc.co.uk/

It seems a bit extreme to setup a limited company imho, and you'll no doubt have considerable extra paperwork to sort out which will eat into those evening hours when you could be enjoying yourself.

If i'm not making very much sense, then WikiPedia has a good explanation of what an Umbrella company is.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umbrella_company

CooperS
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Postby CooperS » Wed, 12 Sep 2007 5:58 am

Lazy Londoners :) We stick out like a sore thumb! :)

Understand completely - was with Giant, then switched to Parasol once that tit brown changed the laws!! Since then bothered to set-up own ltd company and it all makes sense. I dont even see my accountant! Take the leap Monkey. It's worth it.

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Strong Eagle
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Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 12 Sep 2007 6:17 am

monkey wrote:Does Singapore have the same concept of "umbrella companies" as in the UK where your employed by the umbrella company and work on the client site. The umbrella company takes care of all paperwork, including taxes, provides for profesional imdemnity insurance etc and you receive a salary for a minimal fee.

Could you not just register with an umbrella company ? I don't know how the system works in Singers, but it would make your life much easier.

If your unsure of what I mean, then this company for example offers the service, but in the UK.

http://www.parasolplc.co.uk/

It seems a bit extreme to setup a limited company imho, and you'll no doubt have considerable extra paperwork to sort out which will eat into those evening hours when you could be enjoying yourself.

If i'm not making very much sense, then WikiPedia has a good explanation of what an Umbrella company is.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umbrella_company


Well, my company could certainly pick up someone like CooperS and then rent him back out. But the catch words are "minimal fee".

Here in Singapore I would be responsible for obtaining his EP, guaranteeing his repartriation bond, paying him, handling tax withholding, invoicing him, health insurance, etc, etc.

I would also have certain legal responsibilities and liabilities by holding him out as my employee. And there would be no reason to do it without making a profit.

ukcontractor
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Postby ukcontractor » Sun, 16 Sep 2007 6:29 pm

Hi Strong Eagle,

I am an IT contactor from London and in a similar boat as well.
I think setting a new company and all the ongoing overheads like accounting etc. is a waste.

What about using an existing company to process employment pass & payroll etc. and sharing the savings (50:50) from not setting up a new company ?

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jpatokal
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Postby jpatokal » Sun, 16 Sep 2007 8:05 pm

ukcontractor wrote:I am an IT contactor from London and in a similar boat as well. I think setting a new company and all the ongoing overheads like accounting etc. is a waste.

What about using an existing company to process employment pass & payroll etc. and sharing the savings (50:50) from not setting up a new company ?

Problem is, in Singapore the cost of setting up a company is really quite minimal (S$315 to register, ~S$1000/yr for accounting), while the additional risk you'd incur from taking on partners you don't necessarily trust is much higher, and small companies can't hand out employment passes willy-nilly.

That said, this gets asked often enough that there might well be a business opportunity in doing this...
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ukcontractor
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Postby ukcontractor » Sun, 16 Sep 2007 9:48 pm

Many Thanks jpatokal for quick reply !

I have now done some more researh and seen a few companies offering to setup a new company and process an Employment pass for S$3000-S$4000 + S$1500 per dependant.

I was just wandering if Singapore MOM will be happy to see an employment pass being requested by a newly formed company . . . with no financial history and only one business contract for the person being applied on Employment pass.

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Postby jpatokal » Mon, 17 Sep 2007 11:44 pm

ukcontractor wrote:I have now done some more researh and seen a few companies offering to setup a new company and process an Employment pass for S$3000-S$4000 + S$1500 per dependant.

Unless I'm very much mistaken, these are basically services that assist you in filling out an Entrepass, which gives you your own company to run. See Strong Eagle's excellent sticky:

http://www.singaporeexpats.com/forum/ftopic38927.html

I was just wandering if Singapore MOM will be happy to see an employment pass being requested by a newly formed company . . . with no financial history and only one business contract for the person being applied on Employment pass.

You cannot first create a company and then apply for an EP for yourself. (Well, you can, you just won't get very far unless you've got serious amounts of money.) The Entrepass is meant specifically for setting up new companies in Singapore, but the vetting is pretty strict.
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Postby phild » Tue, 18 Sep 2007 6:47 pm

Interesting thread guys!

Im a UK recruiter moving to Singapore next week, (no names no pack-drill) and I can hear all the boo's & hisses from here so please bear with me! lol

The comment with regard to local recruiters being a level below UK, how come?

Im proud of the service I provide both to my Candidates & Clients and am keen to be able to differenciate and offer a service that is better than generally available. Can I ask what your local experiences have been like?

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Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 18 Sep 2007 9:30 pm

phild wrote:Interesting thread guys!

The comment with regard to local recruiters being a level below UK, how come?


I am sure SMS can chime in with far more insight, but here is my S$0.02 worth.

The recruiters here are fundamentally clueless about why their business works. They hire very cheap, often commision paid workers to cold call. The businesses hang up on them because they don't speak good English. The candidates hang up on them because these guys/girls have no clue if they are talking to talent or not.

Most of them cannot tell the wheat from the chaff... or sh*t from shinola, if you prefer. Most of them are arrogant towards the job seekers, not realizing that even though the employer pays the bills, the job seeker is the cannon fodder necessary to make the deal work. You can search the boards and find many, many post where qualified job seekers, upon inquiring with a headhunter, don't even get a return phone call telling them to f*ck off.

Most have abysmal skills in understanding the real job requirements, then matching those skills against the candidates. If you can't put the entire job description into check boxes, then forget it.

Perhaps I am being harsh. All I know is that I have looked at headhunters for the specialized skills I need in my company and have gotten zero, zilch. Much better for me to hit monster, jobsdb, and others where, while I have to sift through many unqualified CV's, I do get at least to look at possible candidates who would have been elimated by my clueless headhunter friends, only to be replaced with candidates who have no idea of what I need.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 18 Sep 2007 10:44 pm

Frankly, SE, you dun gud! :P

I don't really have anything to add except some personal points of view.

Really, The problem here is nothing more than professionalism. Or should I say the lack of it. Most Headhunters here are paid a very small retainer/basic salary from the Agency and need to turn over volume placements in order to make a decent living. This is compounded by the fact that the agency owners want to live on easy street so they pump up their overheads to justify the cut that they take off the top. So what ends up being done is what I fondly call the shotgun method of placement where they advertise (instead of "Headhunting") and just generally fire anything that looks suitable to the client (as SE says - most don't even have a clue - This is why I don't try to help SE as IT is not my forte even though I'm an MCSA) Having said that I spent 16 years specializing in a narrow segment of industries and don't intend to change now. I also hold a full time job now so have cut back on my recruitment activities - servicing a select few clients.

Unfortunately, people of my ilk don't last too long here (I held several portfolios simultaneously to round out my act). Think about it for a moment. You try to be professional. But the average Job Seeker sends his CV to virtually every agency with any rep at all as well as the online databases like JobsDB and such. Then it becomes a first pass the post situation as the way the law works here, it you submit your Candidate to a client and other agencies do as well, then it's usually earliest post/email/reciept date that wins the game in the courts/small claims tribunal because both agencies have agreements with the Client.

The problem is that the employers here tend to use multiple agencies and in some cases have a whole distribution list that shotguns the JD's to 20 or 30 agencies. How to compete with quality recruitment when absolute speed it the necessity?

That's one of the reasons I no longer do it full time. It's easier for me to be selective this way. I usually get an exclusive for at least a month before my clients will approach anyone else (damn few clients will do this - depends on your rep). I will usually let the know within a work week (5 days) whether I think I can find what they are looking for. I don't want to waste their time nor mine. They appreciate it.

There have been numerous people like yourself who have ventured to this island and set up shop. Most with the same ideals as yourself. Most are still here but more resemble the local variant now. What's the old saying? The road to hell is paved with good intentions. But good intentions don't always put food on the table or in the belly.

The other things to think about is that there is a population here of 4.5 millions souls. 60% of them employable. There are currently over 1100 Employment/Recruitment agency licenses issued. You can crunch the numbers!

phild
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Postby phild » Tue, 18 Sep 2007 11:45 pm

Cheers guys!

Very useful info! Im not setting up shop, so to speak, as my employer already has an Operation in Singapore and has been here for a few years, as well as 80 other offices world-wide.

Like you, I hate the scatter gun way of dealing with recruitment and never want to be classsed with these people!

My employer has strict QMS procedures so I couldnt cut corners even if I wanted!

Anyway thanks for your feedback, it has given me some insight and I hope that should our paths cross then you can ask me if I've managed to retain my lofty ideals! lol

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Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 19 Sep 2007 6:39 am

phild wrote:Cheers guys!

I hope that should our paths cross then you can ask me if I've managed to retain my lofty ideals! lol


You can make this happen very easily by buying SMS and me a beer! :D

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Postby phild » Wed, 19 Sep 2007 3:15 pm

lol!

And you know theres no such thing as a free beer! lol! :wink:

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Postby Bufferine » Mon, 24 Sep 2007 9:07 pm

You cannot first create a company and then apply for an EP for yourself. (Well, you can, you just won't get very far unless you've got serious amounts of money.) The Entrepass is meant specifically for setting up new companies in Singapore, but the vetting is pretty strict.


The company I'm talking to claims they can do just that - I'm already here on a work permit, but they offer the nominal director service too...

Singapore Immigration allows foreigners to apply for an Employment Pass after they have incorporated their Singapore Company, to enable them to live and work in Singapore. The Singapore Employment Pass comes with a valid stay visa for up to two years. deletions The application can be submitted on-line and due to this the outcome of the application from the Ministry of Manpower is obtained within a shorter period of time and the probability for approval is higher than an EntrePass application.

I can't find where I saw it on the site now, but they claimed their success rates were quite high, and they certainly seem responsive to my questions - expensive though (a little over S$3k for company, work permit, and all the bits and pieces to keep it going for a year). I just googled and found them - I'm guessing there's other companies that offer similar services..[/i]


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